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dress shirt quilts #5

I know that pretty much everyone is familiar with the quilts of Gee's Bend, but while we're talking about making quilts out of recycled clothing, it just seems wrong not to mention these ladies and their amazing work. There is a lovely collection online here).

by Loretta Pettway, born in 1942.

By Linda Pettway, born in 1929.

By Annie Bendolph, 1900-1981.

Also by Linda Pettway, born in 1929.

And this beauty by Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981. Missouri's daughter explains.. "It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, 'I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.' She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, and I helped her tore them up." (quotation from here)

I'm in awe of these quilts. I love that quote... "Cover up under it for love." I might have to sew that into my next creation. Isn't that what making a quilt is all about?

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Reader Comments (14)

stunning works of art, Brooke. Thanks for sharing the beauty!

05.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

"Cover up under love" What a beautiful feeling! This quilts are amazing.

05.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

Honestly, Brooke. When that show came to the Whitney, I was so mad at Todd for not opting to give tours of it and for choosing to docent some un-memorable show instead. That was a life-changing show.

05.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiesl

I'm LOVING these posting about shirt quilts. Thanks so much for pulling together some excellent examples.

05.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRansacked Goodsq

The best of quilts are not only art which is both beautiful and functional, but a history of our love as well. Thank you for finding and sharing such wonderful examples.

05.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLuckybeans

What eloquence - both in the quilts and the quotes. So moving, so inspiring. Thanks for sharing that. - KateB

05.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKateB

I was just looking at pictures of these quilts at the library over the weekend. I could look at these quilts over and over again and be thrilled each and every time!

05.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

beautiful! i'm loving the yellow quilt!

05.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusannah

Wow - what a wonderful post. That quote "cover up under it for love" is so powerful. Brought tears to my eyes.

05.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

These are so, so cool.

05.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Wow. How inspiring!

05.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterNina

it's quite impossible to say how moving the quote you've chosen is; stunning, and remarkable...and heartrending.

what lovely choices you have made, it's completely inspiring...

05.7.2009 | Unregistered Commentervictoria thorne

these are awesome, great blog btw, some lovely photographs

05.14.2009 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

hi, i've just read this post and it really touches something close to me... i sleep under a quilt made by my great grand mother from her worn summer dresses and my grand fathers worn pin striped work shirts. i never knew either of them but this quilt really does inspire me. i think about them and their lives stitched by her own hand together. thanks.

08.16.2010 | Unregistered Commenterbecky

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